Greensboro native John Isner eliminated in Wimbledon semifinals

Greensboro native John Isner eliminated in Wimbledon semifinals

The 33-year-old won a near three-hour long final set to become the first South African Wimbledon men's singles finalist since Brian Norton in 1921, prevailing 7-6 (8-6) 6-7 (5-7) 6-7 (9-11) 6-4 26-24.

But it falls short of the 11 hours and five minutes that it took for Isner to beat France's Nicolas Mahut 70-68 in the fifth set in their first-round match at Wimbledon in 2010.

Anderson, who also won a marathon game against Roger Federer in the quarter-final, will face the either Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal in Sunday's final, both of whom sat in the locker room for the duration of the first final.

The match could not end due to a quirk of Wimbledon and two of the other Grand Slams - the fifth set cannot end in a tiebreaker.

"I played two matches over six hours in my career".

Isner would like the US President, a serious tennis fan, to be in the Centre Court crowd as his guest for what promises to be another battle of big serves against Kevin Anderson.

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That didn't happen through the first 12 games of the last set, with each player holding serve to reach 6-all. "As of right now, I'm sort of more focused on that than getting too excited about the overall picture".

It is common to hear the call of 15-all in tennis, but, in this instance, that was the score in games at one stage in the fifth set as both players continued to resolutely hold serve.

And he made it clear Grand Slam tournament organisers should consider a rule change - perhaps introducing a tie-break at 6-6 - to make the deciding set of five-set matches less gruelling.

It was a similar tale in the fourth set where the South African broke for 3-2 only to hand the break straight back. Isner in particularly started to appear tired at the set wore on.

At 24-24 Anderson took a tumble but managed to get to his feet and hit a left-handed shot inside the baseline, taking the point for 0-30.

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